Formula 1 without Kimi Raikkonen

Chet AlvizCorrespondent IMarch 23, 2010

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - OCTOBER 29:  Kimi Raikkonen of Finland and Ferrari attends the drivers' press conference during previews to the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit on October 29, 2009 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Ker Robertson/Getty Images)
Ker Robertson/Getty Images

Let's put things in perspective, shall we?

How is Formula 1 doing without Kimi? I know, I know, it's just the start of the season.  I know, I know, you can't judge how the season is going to turn out by using the snore-fest that was the Bahrain Grand Prix as a barometer. And of course, you don't need to tell me twice that it seems that this rule of not re-fuelling has probably made the drivers more cautious—and teams take lesser risks. 

Gone are the days of the fuelling light to make the starts more exciting. Forget about researching the prerace weights the day after qualy—they don't mean a darn thing.  Also, seeing lesser teams qualify high means they do actually have a car that might even win the race.

No more talk of: "he'll come in on lap 7," or "I'm sure he only has fumes in the tank." 

No more debates, no more "maybes", no more "what-ifs." Cars that qualify in front do have the capability to score, heck, even earn top step.

But I digress. Let's stop this FIA-bashing now, shall we? 

Back to the question: How is F1 doing without Kimi? Or, more appropriately, how will F1 be?

For the Kimi-hater

There is one less boring, stupid, inarticulate, overrated and overpaid driver on the grid that may actually win the race.

No more discussion on how Felipe deserves the Ferrari drive more than this robot/tin man/muppet of a driver.

Forget about the joy of seeing Mr. Raikkonen take the long walk from the track to the pits from race retirement, or, better yet, hitting a wall after a taking seemingly routine soft right turn after hitting the chicane too hard. Oh yeah, and having the temerity to eat an ice cream treat right after.

Oh, Oh! What about the ecstasy of witnessing your driver (whoever it may be, from Hamilton to uhm, let's see now...Chandok?) overtaking Raikkonen due to the latter's "sleeping-in-front-of-the-wheel" incidents?

No more "Kimi, your-hair-makes-you-look-like—buffoon" type comments—why not get a haircut? So we can distinguish the morons from the idiots.

And so on, and so forth.

For the Kimi-fanatic

All of the above statements, and then some.

Think about it: You have one less driver that has the rare natural talent, speed, skill and dumb luck that has what it takes to make the grand prixs more exciting, if not more enjoyable to watch. 

Mull over this:  Kimi's first two races in WRC Junior (hahaha) racing has him finishing on the backfoot—with the first race stalling in snow, the other, on a spectacular six-roll crash. If you're a hater, then you missed the laugh of a lifetime. A fan? Then you start thinking there's nowhere to go but up.

Digest this: Apart from Alonso's great "gift" win, there is nothing exciting yet to read about in F1. Schumacher in 6th? Scoop of a lifetime. Vettel's mechanical problem?  Chandok's crash? Great news. Imagine throwing in a "Kimi Raikkonen" somewhere in there.

And finally: No other guy in F1 receives more love and antagonism at the same time.  Sure, you hate Lewis' arrogance, but love his confidence in himself, willing the win.  You have the continued Alonso saga: Renault to Mclaren to Ferrari.  No one would care more (or less, for that matter).  And the Schumacher return? I see MS-haters now rooting for the guy. What else can you do for a 40-year-old driver trying to re-live past glory? Wish that he fails?

As perplexing as it may seem, Raikkonen's haters and fans have exactly the same reasons why they choose to hate or adore him. He's a mumbling, bumbling, stumbling fool of a racer that has cool confidence and electric behaviour that has both booing and cheering at the same time.

Guess which one I am?



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